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[Comments] (5) The Enormous Egg: Going through postcards I was reminded of a book from my childhood, The Enormous Egg, about a triceratops that hatches from a hen's egg and throws the nation into turmoil. I looked up the book online and saw people claiming it had a political subtext, so I decided to Bookmooch it and reread.

The book arrived today and I reread it. The political subtext is only sub-textual if you're a kid, but it did its job. Pretty much everything in the book is part of my adult philosophy, right down to the ham-handed satirical dialogue I write for government employees. Highly recommended assuming you want your kid to turn out like me.

The illustrations are also awesome. My main complaint (also mentioned in the postcard, which will show up sometime in the next 3 years) is that if a chicken gave birth to an evolutionary throwback it would be a theropod, not a saurichian like Triceratops.

When I mentioned this book to Sumana she immediately countered with Homer Price (the book with the story about the donut machine), which I remember being really good. I was also considering John Fitzgerald's Great Brain books for the "lesser-known but awesome childrens' books" list, but those books have a pretty good Amazon sales rank (they're outselling RESTful Web Services) so they're not as obscure as I thought.

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Posted by Kim at Tue Jun 23 2009 00:31

Oh man, I loved the Great Brain books. I thought they were obscure as well (maybe just out of print of a while); good to know they are still somewhat well-known.

Posted by pedro at Tue Jun 23 2009 11:28

So, what was the subtext of the book (other than politicians talking about having hands made out of ham)? Is it a controversial subtext or just "Oh btw, this book has a subtext"?

Posted by Leonard at Tue Jun 23 2009 12:39

It was written as an anti-McCarthy book. Some of the subtexts are: 1) politicians are narcissistic, grandstanding fools. 2) people are better than their government. 3) kids learn better when they're given research projects rather than traditional schoolwork. 4) science is awesome.

Posted by Jenna at Tue Jun 23 2009 22:58

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Posted by Mark Dominus at Wed Jun 24 2009 00:02

I remember all those books happily. The line from the Enormous Egg in which a senator sarcastically observes that the average housewife doesn't consume very much surplus alfalfa is one of my favorites.

J.D. Fitzgerald wrote a semi-autobiographical novel called "Papa Married a Mormon". All of the characters will be familiar from the Great Brain books. You get to hear about the Fitzgerald family curse, in which one boy from each generation is "lost", and the details of how the author's Catholic dad married his Mormon mom. She had to be smuggled out of town in a barrel.

It also explains how Aunt Bertha came to live with the Fitzgeralds, which always gets short shrift in the Great Brain books. That alone is worth the price of admission.


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